The last few months have whipped past in a flurry of ribbon, brown paper, gift cards and books as Anna, Jennie, Katy, Olivia and Hattie (with help from extra elf Izzie) have worked like mad things to get everything packed up and posted out for Christmas. Despite the long hours, tape-gun injuries and occasional postal mishap, December is a happy time here at SF. Carols are playing, the office tree is in place – topped with a delightful fox sent in by a reader in Kendal – the bookshelves are crammed with Christmas cards, the office dogs’ biscuit fund has been replenished by several kind benefactors and one mystery reader even sent us 10 little Swiss chocolate foxes! (See foot of this email.) Thank you to all of our friends and readers around the world for another happy year.
All Christmas presents have now been sent out in discreet brown parcels with our little foxy sticker and we do hope the recipients enjoy them, wherever they are. The good folk at Royal Mail are our heroes at this time of year, with our regular postman turning up every evening (and sometimes at lunchtime too) to drag our brimming postbags downstairs and into his jolly red van. While most things reach readers in good time and in good order, inevitably the odd thing does go astray or arrives in less than perfect condition. Jennie, Hattie and Anna are at No. 53 today until 4 p.m. (Friday 22 December) tidying the office and putting up the shutters, so do phone on 020 7033 0258 if you have any urgent enquiries and we’ll do our best to help. After this time, if you or your intended recipient haven’t received any items and you need an emergency gift card – or a last-minute present idea – then you’ll find a link further down the page to download printable cards. Please also send us an email ([email protected]) or a message through the website and we’ll be able to send any replacement items out in January.
Thank you very much to those of you who have already renewed your subscription in time for Issue 57 in the spring. More stock of our handsome duck-egg blue membership cards is being reprinted over Christmas and will be delivered to us in January, so if you haven’t yet received your new membership card then you can expect it early next year. For any of you who haven’t yet renewed but would like to do so, then all you need is your membership number or surname and an email address and you can use our quick renew page to renew your own subscription or a gift for someone else.
After a busy year for the book foxes, our time off over Christmas involves a lot of lying around on sofas and reading, and what could be better restorative reading than old favourites? Over a last toast of the year yesterday evening, we discussed our required seasonal reading, and so it went: Anna’s devouring Nancy Mitford’s Christmas Pudding, Olivia’s running away to Brendon Chase with BB, Katy’s reading Emil & The Detectives with her sons, Jennie’s daydreaming with her well-thumbed copy of Rebecca, and Hattie’s sneaking off to a quiet corner with Tom’s Midnight Garden. Ah, Tom’s Midnight Garden . . . We all agreed that this book makes for perfect winter reading. Long-term readers may remember Maggie Fergusson’s magical piece on it back in Slightly Foxed Issue 40 but, as both book and article stand up to rereading over and over again, we thought we’d share the latter here in our last newsletter of the year. We do hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
We much look forward to catching up with you all when we’re back on 3 January. Meantime we send you our very best wishes for a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
The SF office staff
Jennie, Anna, Olivia, Hattie & Katy